Tyra Banks posts body positive birthday message

“My body is fuller. And so is my mind" wrote Banks, who celebrated her 48th birthday with a bathing suit post on Instagram

Loading the player...

Former supermodel Tyra Banks said her body and mind are so much “fuller,” as she celebrated her 48th birthday on Instagram.

On Saturday, the Dancing with the Stars host shared several photos in a bathing suit, writing in the caption “It’s my BIRTHDAY! And every year this BODY of mine keeps changing.”

Banks has long been an ambassador for body positivity, after opening up about discrimination she faced in the modeling industry because she was a curvier model.

“Happy Birthday to all my fellow Sagittarius out there,” she continued. “Here’s to growing together, in more ways than one.”

The Inglewood, California native has made a name for herself inside and outside of the fashion industry.

Banks began her modeling career after signing to Elite Model Management — a renowned Paris-based modeling agency — at the age of 16.

Tyra appeared in editorials and on the covers of the most coveted magazines including Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, and Vanity Fair. In 1993, she became the face of CoverGirl cosmetics’ worldwide campaigns.

In 1996, Banks made history and became the first Black model to grace the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and the cover of GQ. Her career success skyrocketed her into “supermodel” status.

Despite her accomplishments, she did not escape the pressures of an industry that favored thin bodies.

At the height of her high fashion career, designers at Milan Fashion week said she was getting “too big,” she told Business Insider in 2018.

“I started crying,” she explained, being just a teenager at the time. “I was like, ‘Mom, OK, what do I do. Should I diet? Should I work out twice a day? Should I just have salads for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?'”

Banks said her mom gave her “the tools, self-esteem, and self-love” to overcome the pressures of modeling without dieting. She said the confidence instilled in her by her mom helped her love herself and navigate her career path.

Tyra Banks thegrio.com
(Photo by Ian Tuttle/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize )

Banks has since used her platform to champion for diversity of women’s bodies — particularly Black women — in modeling.

She launched her very own modeling competition show, Americans Next Top Model, in which she had conversations with young aspiring models about the pressures of the fashion industry, though the show is not without controversies. She also used her talk show, The Tyra Banks show, to speak about some of the issues in the modeling industry and promote a message of self love.

She returned to modeling in 2019 and covered the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue for the second time

“I want to show that modeling has no age,” said the mogul who was 45 at the time. “I’m coming out of retirement to practice what I preach.”

Earlier this year, Banks paid tribute to other trailblazing Black supermodels.

The model posted a photo of Naomi Sims, who is credited as being the first African American supermodel on the cover of Ladies’ Home Journal in 1968.

“She was the first Black model to appear on the cover of Ladies’ Home Journal in November 1968,” said Banks in the caption of the post. “She was one of the world’s first Black supermodels, setting the groundwork (and werk!) for so many of us, a true inspiration. My hero.”

Have you subscribed to theGrio podcasts, ‘Dear Culture’ or Acting Up? Download our newest episodes now!

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!

Loading the player...